QUAIFE-HOBBS SECURES FIRST POLE Tonbridge teenager denied possible maiden victory Tonbridge teenager Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took his first Formula BMW pole position at Rockingham yesterday, but sadly mechanical problems left him unable to convert...
QUAIFE-HOBBS SECURES FIRST POLE
Tonbridge teenager denied possible maiden victory
Tonbridge teenager Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took his first Formula BMW pole position at Rockingham yesterday, but sadly mechanical problems left him unable to convert that into his maiden win in the race which took place at the Northamptonshire circuit today. A broken clutch at the start dropped him down to fifth as the pack filed into Turn 1 for the first time, and a broken gearbox bracket on lap two cost him dearly, as he was unable to select gears.
As the race neared completion, the 16 year-old BRDC Rising Star, then found his Fortec-run car stuck in fifth gear, losing him places and he was forced to nurse his sick car to the flag in 11th place.
"A gearbox bracket broke on the second lap, meaning that I was missing gears on the way down the ‘box, which in turn meant I was running wide into several of the corners. On the last lap it eventually got stuck in fifth gear, so I lost a handful of places on that lap alone as I struggled to get round. The clutch had also broken on the startline as I was unable to get away at the beginning of the first race. So component failure caused me to miss out of a good result after taking pole position."
Race two saw Adrian line-up fifth and with a new clutch fitted between the two races, the MSA British Race Elite candidate was hopeful of a better result. But, with limited time between the two races, which support the prestigious Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, Adrian was unable to make the necessary set-up changes to his car and he struggled during the race with understeer, although he finished a fighting fifth.
"The team did a fantastic job to repair numerous components between the two races and we got to the grid with just minutes to spare. Unfortunately I was therefore unable to make any changes to the set-up of the car and I had really bad understeer throughout the race. I was unable to get close to Jonathan Legris in the corners so I was never able to make a challenge. I'm still happy with taking fifth and more points, though, after struggling in the first race."
The former BRSCC T-Cars Champion was overall happy with his performance, his second only event in single-seaters, "I can take away the fact that I took pole for the first race, so I know I've got the pace. I should have taken pole for the second race too, but I brought my tyres in early in the qualifying session and then the red flag came out and I had nothing left when we continued again afterwards."
Adrian now has a two-week break before the next rounds of the championship, at Thruxton circuit in Hampshire, on the weekend of May 5/6 where he aims to go for victory.